G’day everyone, I’m Jack Dey and welcome to a special La Belle Suisse pre-release interview with my co-author, Dodie La Mirounette.
Dodie lives in stunning Switzerland and I live in Australia so I guess there’s not a great deal of guesswork to understand where the idea for the four-book setting came from. Just to give you an indication to the depth of difficulty involved in co-authoring a mystery in two separate hemispheres, today where Dodie lives it’s snowing and in Northern Australia it feels like a thousand percent humidity and is sweltering hot. There’s also an eight hour time difference between us with Switzerland dragging hopelessly behind. (Sorry, Dodie! Couldn’t resist that one).
Firstly: Dodie’s official author bio from the pages of La Belle Suisse.
Dodie La Mirounette lives among the romance of Lake Léman and Chillon Castle in stunning Switzerland. Mother of three grown-up children with her beloved husband, she is in awe of Papa God and His creation. One of the heroines of this book, Gina, is based on her beautiful and loving dog who appears in Book 3. In her free time, she enjoys reading, walking in nature and making bobbin lace. La Belle Suisse is her first novel. French is her first language, so co-writing a book in English was a great achievement.
Jack: So what is La Belle Suisse about, Dodie?
Dodie: La Belle Suisse (or The Beautiful Switzerland) is a four-book set and so I don’t get too nervous, I’ll read straight from the book cover. La Belle Suisse is a fast paced mystery set in Switzerland and outback Australia. Intrigue, fun and romance hide behind every page and its playful character will lead you into familiar places where normality exists… or does it? Don’t let your guard down, for everyone has a price, but where will that purchase lead you? Make no mistake… if you have a price, the devil has a cheque book.
Jack: La Belle Suisse is your first book co-written alongside the infamous Jack Dey. How did you come to write this book? What are your thoughts on the book and what would a potential reader expect to take away from their time invested in enjoying the four-book set?
Dodie: I wouldn’t recommend these books at all! (NO! It’s just a joke! Hope your heart is still strong!) I am one of Jack Dey’s numerous fan readers. We met through his wife and corresponded via e-mail for years and one day Jack offered me writing a book together. After having much hesitation, I agreed to this great challenge and enjoyed it! He had much to do to improve my English! Apart from the pleasure of discovering beautiful places and endearing characters, there is much to think about, too. Without spoiling the suspense, I would tell you that deception has a part to play and it is like reading today’s newspaper.
Jack: Were your family and friends interested by this new activity?
Dodie: Yes, completely! They were eager to know what was happening in the story. My mother also asked me several times about how we went ahead with the books. Some of them graciously offered their photos for possible selection of book covers when I talked about it over our Christmas dinner!
Jack: Some of the heroes and heroines of La Belle Suisse are based on people you know and even Gina is dedicated to your own dog. What can you tell us about Gina, Ryan, Anne-Claire, the Baron, Marie-Laure and Jonas and the others?
Dodie: Gina was a loving family dog. She didn’t work as a police dog but she was clever enough to follow a track. Ryan was inspired by one of my son’s friends; and Anne-Claire, the Baron, Marie-Laure and Jonas are dear friends or relatives.
Jack: So, Dod… What’s so special about being a Suisse?
Dodie: That’s easy! I realize what a huge privilege I have to live in a peaceful country surrounded with beautiful nature. I also appreciate Swiss moral values like credibility, responsibility, auto-limitation, solidarity, esteem, tenacity, durability, justice, peace among others.
Jack: Interesting! What are some of the more unusual restraints on Suisse people and visitors alike? Can a foreigner own property for instance?
Dodie: A foreigner can easily buy a property in Switzerland if it is for his main residence. It is much more difficult to buy a residence only for holiday use while living abroad. Moreover there is a quota for each place in how many secondary residences can be built to avoid too many “cold beds” and preserve the landscape and this also is for Swiss people!
Jack: Do the people have much of a say in government and how does that process work?
Dodie: Swiss people are proud of their direct democracy system. Any Swiss people can launch a popular initiative to modify the Federal Constitution. If this initiative is able to collect support of at least 100’000 within 18 months, then there is a popular vote. The same principle exists at a cantonal (or local shire) level. A weak point is that it slows down government decisions. Swiss people go and vote 4 times a year, not counting several elections.
Jack: I’ve heard it said Switzerland is God’s representation of Eden on earth. What do you think of this?
Dodie: Sadly, I think that it isn’t true today! Everything isn’t perfect here any more. Sin is also present here as in the rest of the world.
Jack: What would you recommend to a potential visitor to your beautiful country?
Dodie: I would recommend taking enough time to enjoy it without too much stress. There are so many beautiful things to discover and it’s impossible to see everything. But after reading the romance of La Belle Suisse, a visit of Chillon Castle has to be planned, of course! As for me, I especially enjoy the hiking trails in the mountains or in the vineyard near where I live.
Jack: Well, thank you for spending some time with us, Dodie, and giving the readers a little insight into our book. I’m heading for the garden hose to cool down and another ice cold drink and I guess you’re looking for another blanket!
La Belle Suisse: 4-Book Set – released 14 March 2017!
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